Akhtar, S. (2018). Humility. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(1), pp. 1–27.
Abstract: This paper offers a nuanced discourse on the otherwise ignored topic of humility. It brings together scattered comments within psychoanalysis, secular lay-literature, sociocultural studies, and religious thought on humility. The paper also describes pathological variants of humility (excessive, deficient, false, and compartmentalized) and delineates five areas of clinical practice where humility plays an important role: (i) humility in selecting patients to treat, (ii) humility in daily conduct with patients, (iii) humility in the attitude of listening to clinical material, (iv) humility in the manner of intervening, and (v) humility in deciding upon the longevity of our professional careers.
Weiss, M. (2018). Ethical Presence in the Psychoanalytic Encounter and the Role of Apology. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(1), pp. 28–46.
Abstract: This paper discusses aspects of ethical presence in psychoanalysis, and the possible use of apology in the therapeutic process. The author roughly delineates two periods in the history of psychoanalysis regarding the ethical dimension—the early classical period which is influenced by Freud’s ethics of honesty, which gradually evolves towards the more recent intersubjectively-influenced period, necessitating the assimilation of an ethics of relationships. It is suggested that explicit theorizing of the ethical dimension into psychoanalysis offers added value to its effectiveness, and a framework is presented for combining relational, intersubjectively informed ethical dialogue, with contributions of classical technique, enriching the therapeutic potential of psychoanalytic work.
Yordanova, K. (2018). Melancholic Response to War Destruction and the Emergence of a Group Assumption of Post-Ness. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(1), pp. 47–62.
Abstract: What psychological response does war and forced displacement evoke in victims? How do survivors of war communicate their experiences to their children? Finally, what culture does the psychological response to loss shape? Using data collected through interviews, psychological consultations, and children’s drawings from two sources—the ongoing Syrian civil war and the Bosnian war of 1992–1995, this paper suggests that the experience of the war generation becomes the organizing axis of their identity and that of their children. It seeks to demonstrate that survivor parents communicate their experience of loss through gesture, act, and object rather than through a coherent narrative. Whereas survivor children use metaphoric and metonymic readings of their parents’ everyday performance in order to construct meaning and form their identities as descendants of a given family. This paper argues that such an identity is characterized by ambivalence towards the self and towards others, melancholic longing for an idealized pre-war past, and the impossibility of letting it go.
Eekhoff, J. K. (2018). Somatic Countertransference as Evidence of Adhesive Identification in a Severely Traumatized Woman. American Journal of Psychoanalysis. 78(1), pp. 63–73.
Abstract: This paper discusses the use of somatic countertransference as a means of learning about the patient, about projective and adhesive identification and about the object relating nature of the most traumatized and withdrawn part of the personality. It assumes an elemental knowledge of British Object Relations and uses clinical material to illustrate the hypotheses that somatic countertransference is an indicator of a very elemental communication occurring from the aspect of the psyche that is united in a body mind or mind body. The paper assumes that this body mind was object seeking at birth and perhaps before. Because these early aspects of the personality are non verbal and non conceptual, the analyst must rely not only on the verbal material in a session but on the emotional and sensual experiences within the transference and the countertransference. Such reliance requires a faith in one’s own intuition without a certainty that one is “right.” Because speaking of such early experience is difficult, often writers and analysts appear more certain than they are. This is a hazard of this type of analytic work. What I am writing about is conjecture or imagination or dream, but I am suggesting that such dream work is a valuable tool for analysis.
Joannidis, C. (2018). Binocular Vision in the Total Situation. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(1), pp. 74–88.
Abstract: This paper investigates the concept of “total situation” which, even though introduced into psychoanalytic thinking via sister disciplines, such as sociology, the neurosciences, etc., has gradually acquired a relatively prominent position in current therapeutic practice. It is used as a metaphor for the envelopment of the unfolding transferential and related events in the analytic process. Irrespective of whether one focuses on the individual analytic condition or the group-analytic one, contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives include both the bi-personal unconscious interactions and the various levels of the total situation in their conceptualizations of the nature of the process. Such a complex approach in conceptualization can only be achieved through the so-called binocular vision of the analyst.
Stolorow, R. D. (2018). Never again! Trauma Disrupts the Experience of Time. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(1), pp. 89–91.
I use the term portkey, which I borrowed from Harry Potter, to capture the profound impact of emotional trauma on our experience of time (Stolorow, 2007). Harry was a severely traumatized little boy, nearly killed by his parents’ murderer and left in the care of a family that mistreated him cruelly. He arose from the ashes of devastating trauma as a wizard in possession of wondrous magical powers, and yet never free from the original trauma, always under threat by his parents’ murderer. As a wizard, he encountered portkeys—objects that transported him instantly to other places, obliterating the duration ordinarily required for travel from one location to another…
Cohen, M. (2018). Book Review. Inventing God: Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality, by Jon Mills, Routledge, London and New York, 2017, 244pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78(1), pp. 92–96.
In various biographical statements, Jon Mills is described as both a philosopher and a psychoanalyst. He teaches at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto and runs a mental health corporation in Ontario, Canada. In a previous book, he critiqued the philosophical underpinnings of relational psychoanalysis (2011). In this book, he combines his knowledge of philosophy and psychoanalysis to propose an approach to spirituality based in humanism rather than in religious belief. His premises are that God does not exist but is only an idea and that religious beliefs can be replaced by a new spirituality grounded in humanism…
Gensler, D. (2018). Book Review. Trauma and Countertrauma, Resilience and Counterresilience: Insights from Psychoanalysts and Trauma Experts, edited by Richard Gartner, Routledge, New York, 2017, 316pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78, pp. 97-100
Therapists working with traumatized patients suffer from their closeness to this horror. They come to feel personally the experience of victim, abuser, accomplice and bystander. Patients’ experiences resonate with therapists’ own trauma. But therapists also feel uplifted by witnessing the courage of survivors in facing their private horrors and in daring to reach for a more hopeful future. They feel themselves enriched as they participate in this progress with their patients, and they gain the satisfaction of helping people overcome trauma and move on with their lives…
Molofsky, M. (2018). Book Review. Confidentiality and Its Discontents: Dilemmas of Privacy in Psychotherapy, by Paul W. Mosher and Jeffrey Berman, Fordham University Press, New York, 2015, 343pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78, 101-103.
In this book, Paul W. Mosher and Jeffrey Berman have written an important, useful examination of a major issue in contemporary ethics in psychotherapy: confidentiality and privacy. In 11 chapters, they offer a comprehensive exploration of the nature of ethical dimensions of confidentiality and privacy, with carefully researched, diverse examples of violations of this essential component of psychotherapeutic ethical behavior. Merely scanning the chapter headings, the reader can discover a range of well-known, important instances of breaches of confidentiality and privacy, as well as some lesser known ones, such as the Supreme Court ruling in Jaffee vs. Redmond; the Tarasoff case, the Anne Sexton controversy, and the Philip Roth controversy…
Turtz, J. (2018). Book Review. The Wisdom of Lived Experience; Views from Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Metaphysics, by Maxine Anderson, Karnac Books Ltd, London, 2016, 146pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78, pp. 104-107.
The preface of Maxine Anderson’s gem of a book, The Wisdom of Lived Experience: Views from Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Metaphysics, fittingly begins with Lucretius, the ancient Roman poet and author of the magnificent poem, On the Nature of Things. This poem was lost for 1000 years and then rediscovered by Poggio Bracciolini in 1417, a story beautifully told by Stephen Greenblatt in The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, which Anderson cites (p. xvi). This poem was an enormous influence upon the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Along with its focus on the world as made up of atoms, a theory stemming back to the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus, On the Nature of Things emphasizes the wisdom of lived experience…
Zuckerman, J. R. (2018). Book Review. Becoming Myself, by Irvin D. Yalom, Basic Books, New York, 2017, 343pp. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 78, pp. 108-111.
It is difficult to know where to begin in discussing Irvin Yalom’s new memoir, Becoming Myself. The man himself is one of my indisputable psychoanalytic heroes and there is so much to say. But one of the many things I’ve learned in these pages, is that I am in excellent company! Yalom describes the bundles of appreciative mail he still receives and personally responds to almost every day—each saved in his Gmail folder labeled “Fans.” I will tell you that, in secret, I too have shared email exchanges with Yalom through the years, letting him know just how inspiring and moving I have found his work to be. I have treasured and saved his thoughtful, personal responses in my own folder of special correspondences. But what exactly is it about the man that makes him such a treasured figure to so many?…